Volumes of carpet waste diverted from landfill in the UK continue to rise, with 168,000 tonnes reused, recycled or recovered for energy in 2017, reports Carpet Recycling UK.
This represents a diversion rate of 42% – up from 35% and an increase in 26,000 tonnes compared to 2016, according to the industry body’s latest figures. Around 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet arise each year in the UK.
Energy recovery accounted for 124,000 tonnes with the growing use of carpets as a renewable fuel source in cement kilns and 42,000 tonnes were reused or recycled.
In 2017, main growth areas were in equestrian surface materials, carpet tile reuse, carpets for cement kilns to replace fossil fuels and local incineration of municipal solid wastes (MSW).
Commenting on their 2017 achievements, CRUK Director Laurance Bird said: “Our Core Funder manufacturing and distribution members continue to succeed and provide outstanding support to CRUK as well as to their customers. These Core Funders are industry leaders in developing voluntary producer responsibility for carpets throughout their lifecycle.
“Thanks to their unstinting commitment and support, we are continuing to advance sustainability in this sector and drive growth in recycling capacity.”
CRUK’s core funders are Cormar Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/Headlam, Brinton Carpets, Desso, ege, Milliken and Balsan.
CRUK’s retailer and flooring contractor membership is growing as more companies acknowledge the cost savings and positive sustainability impacts for their businesses. “They appreciate the help from our Core Funders to improve their results, in many cases saving thousands of pounds per year,” continued Laurance.
Awareness and interest in recycling carpet waste continues to grow, he revealed, with 640 enquiries handled by the CRUK team in 2017 – an increase of 28% compared to the previous year.
Enquiries were wide-ranging, over the phone, online and at events, with a large proportion coming from retailers, contractors and recyclers. CRUK’s social media presence has also helped to boost this growth in enquiries and generate leads.
In 2017, the fourth annual Carpet Recycling Awards provided wide recognition for the innovations achieved by the specialist carpet reuse and recycling members across a broad range of categories. Highly-prized by recipients, businesses use these awards to demonstrate their capabilities with customers who are increasingly demanding sustainability credentials.
Laurance added: “Our 2017 achievements clearly show strong progress towards our goal of 60% landfill diversion by 2020. Increased interest in recycling and rising numbers of enquiries also demonstrates that carpet is now regarded as a valued raw material that presents opportunities for reuse in a variety of novel applications.”
“In our tenth anniversary year, we remain proud of our achievements and appreciate the wide-ranging support that contributes to the success of CRUK and is helping to ensure the growing demand for carpet recycling services is met.”
CRUK will be recognising its members’ innovations, successes and sharing information on latest developments and recycling technologies at its 2018 Annual Conference and Awards event to be held on Thursday 5th July at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium in Birmingham.